Dane County homeless program focuses on housing - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Dane County homeless program focuses on housing

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Advocates are praising a program in Dane County that aims to prevent homeless families from spending much time in shelters.

The Madison area is one of about a dozen communities nationwide that are trying the new approach of finding permanent housing for families quickly.

The program, called Housing First, is receiving a $1.2 million grant over two years. It's a collaboration between United Way, YWCA, the Salvation Army and The Road Home.

Since January, 21 families have been moved into housing. The program's goal is to find housing for 45 families each year.

Jim Blanchard, a United Way volunteer, says time spent in a shelter can be demoralizing for people, making it hard for them to focus on turning their lives around.

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